20th Century

(1900- 1999)


Robert Koch

1843 - 1910

Received the Nobel Prize (1905) for his development of the germ theory of disease. Discovered the bacteria that causes anthrax.

Schlieffen Plan

1891 - 1914

The German based their offense on what is often called the Schlieffen Plan, named for Count Alfred von Schlieffen, chief of the German General Staff From 1891-1905. Schlieffen called for attacking France first to secure a quick victory that would neutralize. Western Front and free German army to fight Russian in the east. With France expecting an attack through Alsace Lorraine, the Germans would instead invade through Belgium and sweep down through northwestern France to fight a decisive battle near Paris. For over a month, the German army advanced swiftly, but the plan overestimated the army's physical and logistical capabilities. The speed of the operation-advancing twenty-five miles a day-simply too much for soldiers and supply lines keep up with. They were also slowed by the resistance of Belgian forces and by the intervention of Britain's small buy highly professional field army. Fearing the Russians would move faster expected, German commanders altered the offensive plan by dispatching some troops tot he east instead of committing them all to the assault France.

Battle of the Marne


In September, with the Germans just thirty miles outside the capital, Britain and France launched a successful counter-offensive at the Battle of the Marne. The German line retreated to the Aisne River, and what remained of the Schlieffen Plan was Dead. The Marne Europe's expectations of war and dashed hopes that it would quickly finish. The war of movement had stopped dead in its tracks, where it would remain for four years. Politicians and generals began a continual search for ways to break the stalemate and to bring the war out of trenches, seeking new allies, new theaters, and new weapons. But they also remained committed to offensive tactics on the Western Front. Whether through ignorance, stubbornness, callousness, or desperation military leaders continued to order their men to go "over the top." Allied success at the Marne resulted in part from an unexpectedly strong Russian assault in eastern Prussia, which pulled some German Units away from the attack on the west

Franz Ferdinand Assassination = War


In Bosnia, members of the local Serb population longed to secede from Austrian rule altogether and join the independent state of Serbia. When Bosnian Serbs found their way blocked by the Austrians, some began to conspire with Serbia, and on June 28, 1914, a group of Bosnian Serbs assassinated the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Franz Ferdinand a she paraded through Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. Shocked by Ferdinand's deaht the Austrians trated the assassination as a direct attack by the Serbian government. Three weeks later, the Austrians announced an ultimatum to Serbia, demanding that htey denounce the activities of Bosnian Serbs, and allow Austro-Hungarian officials to prosecute members to the Serbian government who they believed were involved in the assassination. The demands were deliberately unreasonable- the Austrians wanted war, to crush Serbia and restore order in Bosnia. The Serbs mobilized their army before agreeing to all but the most important demands, and Austria responded with its own moblilization on July 28, 1914.

World War I

7/28/1914 - 11/11/1918

It all began with the assassination of Franz Ferdinad.
World War I (WWI) was a global war centered in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. It was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until the start of World War II in 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter. It involved all the world's great powers, which were assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies (based on the Triple Entente of the United Kingdom, France and Russia) and the Central Powers (originally the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy; but, as Austria–Hungary had taken the offensive against the agreement, Italy did not enter into the war). These alliances were both reorganized and expanded as more nations entered the war: Italy, Japan and the United States joined the Allies, and the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria the Central Powers.
this period also meant "new means" of fighting war:
A. Tanks were made- more mobile (1915)
B. Triplane was "updated" easier to drop bombs (1917)
C. Mustard Gas/Cholrine Gas was created- first time of chemical poison use.
The United States ultimately tipped the balance- "Which side to come in on" - they came in on the last 6 months of the war - England and France (won)



Once group, which one a temporary majority, favored a centralized party of actirve revolutionies. They believe taht revolution alone would lead directly to a socialist regime. The Mensheviks like most Europeon socialist, wanted to move toward socialism gradually, suppporitng bourgeois or liberal revolution in the short term. Because peasants constituted 80-85% of the population, the Mensheviks also reasoned that a proletarian revolution was premature and tehat Russia needed to complete its capitalist development first.



The Bolsheviks, a branch of RUssian socialist movement, had little to do with the events of February 1917. Over the course of the next seven months, however, they became enough of a force to overthrow the provisional government. The chain of events leading to the October revolution surprised most contemporary observers, including the Bolsheviks themselves. Marxism had been quite weak in late-nineteenth century Russia, although, it made small but rapid inroads during the 1880s and 1890s. In 1903 the leadership of the Russian Social Democrats split over revolutionary strategy and steps to socialism.

Did follow through on the provisional government's promise to elect a Constituent Assembly. But when they did not win a majority in the elections, they refused to let the assembly reconvene. From that point on Lenin's Bolsheviks ruled socialist Russia, and later the Soviet Union, as a one-party dictatorship. The new Bolshevik regime did little more than ratify a revolution that had been going on since summer of 1917. The provisional government had set up commission to deal methodically with the legal issues surrounding the redistribution of land, a process that threaten to become as complex as the emancipation of the serfs in 1861. The Bolsheviks simply approved the spontaneous redistribution of the nobel's land to peasants without compensation to former owners. They nationalized banks and gave workers control of factories. Most important, the new government sought to take Russia out of the war.

Russian Revolution

Feb. 1917

The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which dismantled the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Russian SFSR. The Emperor was forced to abdicate and the old regime was replaced by a provisional government during the first revolution of February 1917 (March in the Gregorian calendar; the older Julian calendar was in use in Russia at the time). In the second revolution, during October, the Provisional Government was removed and replaced with a Bolshevik (Communist) government.
Uprising in the streets occurred to overthrow the zar at the time, which let to "The Great October Socialist Revolution"- they were ultimately hijacked by the communist party.
As a result Russia pulled out of the war early and made a secret treaty with Germany, which in turn weakened the allies.
The Allies tried to invade Russia towards communism (1919).
JOSEPH STALIN- (1922-1952)
Nationalized (no private ownership) the country/ industry
everyone and everything was owned by the state and the state "represents" the people.
Created Gulog- specific prisions for people who were antisocialists(enemies of the state)
10-20 million people died in these camps.

Woodrow WIlson's Fourteen Points


President Woodrow Wilson proposed these points as the foundation on which to build peace in the world after teh First World War. They called for an end to secret treaties, "open covenants, openly arrived at," freedom of the seas, the removal of international tariffs, the reduction of arms, the "self-determination of peoples," and the establishment of the League of nations to settle international conflicts.

Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points were first outlined in a speech Wilson gave to the American Congress in January 1918. Wilson's Fourteen Points became the basis for a peace programme and it was on the back of the Fourteen Points that Germany and her allies agreed to an armistice in November 1918.

  1. No more secret agreements ("Open covenants openly arrived at").

  2. Free navigation of all seas.

  3. An end to all economic barriers between countries.

  4. Countries to reduce weapon numbers.

  5. All decisions regarding the colonies should be impartial

  6. The German Army is to be removed from Russia. Russia should be left to develop
    her own political set-up.

  7. Belgium should be independent like before the war.

  8. France should be fully liberated and allowed to recover Alsace-Lorraine

  9. All Italians are to be allowed to live in Italy. Italy's borders are to "along
    clearly recognisable lines of nationality."

  10. Self-determination should be allowed for all those living in Austria-Hungary.

  11. Self-determination and guarantees of independence should be allowed for
    the Balkan states.

  12. The Turkish people should be governed by the Turkish government. Non-Turks in
    the old Turkish Empire should govern themselves.

  13. An independent Poland should be created which should have access to the sea.

  14. A League of Nations should be set up to guarantee the political and territorial
    independence of all states.

Alexander Dubcek Goal's during Prague Spring in Czech


Dubeck had maneuvered the more tradiitonal, autrhoritarian party leaders. He advocated "socialism with a human face"; he encouraged debate with the party, academic and artistic freedom, and less censorship. As was often the case, party members were divided between proponents of reform and those fearful that reform would unleash revolution. The reformers, however, also gained support from outside the party, from student organizations, the press, and networks of dissidents. As in Western Europe and the Untied States, the protest movement overflowed traditional party politics.

OPEC Oil Embargo

1973 - 1987

The Eastern European nations encourage serious financial difficulties. Their success had rested in part on captial borrowed form teh west. By 1980 those debts weighed heavily on their natial economies. Poland's hard-currency indebtedness to Western Centuries, for example was almost four times greater than its annual exports. The Solution to this problem, attempted in Poland and elsewhere, ws to cut back on production fo rdomestic consumption in order to increase exports. Yet this policy encountered strong, popular oppositions. Although there was virtually no unemployment in Eastern Europe, men and women were by no means happy with their economic status. Working hours were longer then in Western Europ, and goods and services, even in prosperous times, were scarce.

Western Governments struggled for effective reactions to the abrupt change in their economic circumstances the new leader of the Britsih Conservative Party, Margaret Thatcher, was Elected Prime minister in 1979-and reelected in 1983 and 1987-on a program of curbing trade-union power, cutting taxes to stimulate the economy, and privatizing publicly owned enterprises. The economy, remained week, with close to 15%of the workforce unemployed by 1986. In West Germany, a series of Social Democratics government attmepted to combat economic recession with job-training programs and tax incentives, both financed by higher taxes. These programs did little to assist economic recovery, and country shifted to the right.


Henry Ford

1863 - 1947

was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. Although Ford did not invent the automobile, he developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle class Americans could afford to buy. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. As owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with "Fordism": mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace. His intense commitment to systematically lowering costs resulted in many technical and business innovations, including a franchise system that put dealerships throughout most of North America and in major cities on six continents. Ford left most of his vast wealth to the Ford Foundation but arranged for his family to control the company permanently.

Wright Brothers


The Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilber, were two American brothers, inventors, and aviation pioneers who were credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903.

Ford Model T

1908 - 1927

First mass produced car, begins the start of consumerism, "keeping up with the Jones'"

The Great Depression

1930 - 1939

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in 1930 and lasted until the late 1930s or middle 1940s. It was the longest, most widespread, and deepest depression of the 20th century.

the New Deal


Along with Social Security and other programs, the United States adopted a Keynesian program of "currency management," regulating the value of the dollar according to the needs of the economy. The New Deal helped both individuals and the country recover, but it left the curcial problem of unemployment unsolved. In 1939, after six years of the New Deal, the US still had more than nine million jobless workers-a figure that exceeded the combined unemployment of teh rest of the World. Only with the outbreak of a new world war-which required millions of soldiers and armament workers- did the US reach the full recovery that the New Deal had failed to deliver.

Birth Control Pill


Oral contraceptives, first approved for development in 1959, became mainstream in the next decade. The pill did not have revoluitonary effects on birth rate, which was already falling. It marked dramatic change, however, because it was simple (though expensive and could be used by women themselves. By 1975, two thirds of British women bewteen 15-44 said they were taking the pill. Numbers like these marked a long, drawn-out end to centuries-old views that to discuss birth control was pronographic, and affront to religion, and an invitation to indulgence and promiscuity. In 1965 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws banning the use of contraception, though selling contraceptives remiand illegal in Massachusetts until 1972.